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Municipal Structure and Protecting the Coast

Official Plan and Bylaw Review

GBA has launched a project to compare the main features of the official plans and planning bylaws for municipalities along the eastern and northern coasts of Georgian Bay. We aim to identify best practice recommendations on planning and land use to be shared among municipalities and stakeholders. Working together, we can improve protection of the environment and ecosystems along our coast.

This project forms is part of GBA’s commitment to coastal protection. Base data on the current status and main features of the Official Plans and Planning Bylaws for each coastal municipality will be put together and analyzed. This exercise is expected to surface key differences in planning regulations, which will then be studied and discussed amongst stakeholders to produce some key recommendations.

How is GBA involved?

  • GBA is undertaking a review of the Official Plans and critical zoning bylaws with a goal to establishing best practices along the Bay.
  • GBA will be working with your municipalities and seeking input from all stakeholders on this review.

How can you help?

  • Encourage your municipality to participate in the project.
  • Adopt best practices to protect Georgian Bay and the coast.

Additional Resources:


Since 1975 GBA has been involved in various discussions and initiatives to determine the optimum municipal structure to protect the east and north shores of Georgian Bay (see map), primarily from development and other pressures which could undermine planning regulations designed to protect the environment. Copies of the various reports and papers issued over time can be found below, starting with the most recent:

  1. GBA Status Update summarizing action following the Ontario government’s initial announcement in late 2018 on municipal reviews and its October 25 announcement that it will not impose changes.
  2. Ontario Government Announcement on Municipalities on October 25, 2019 regarding support for municipalities to determine how they themselves can become more efficient and effective
  3. Uniting the Coast UPDATE article September 2019,
  4. Township of the Archipelago (ToA) submission to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) August 2019
  5. GBA draft Position paper on the potential to create a coastal municipality July 16 2019
  6. Township of Georgian Bay restructure report by Prof Bob Williams July 2019 commissioned by concerned citizens in the Township of the Georgian Bay (TGB) addressing municipal structure for TGB  finalized in June and released in July 2019
  7. TOA and TGB Restructuring Proposal to MMAH Oct 2000
  8. TOA Strategy for our Future, June 1996
  9. Vision 2020 final version 1996  from Norman Pearson
  10. Vision 2020 draft prepared in March 1996 by the Greater Bay Area Foundation (now Georgian Bay Forever)
  11. The Archipelago Municipality report by Norman Pearson, April 1977
  12. Environmental Control and Planning Report for SSCA by Norman Pearson, commissioned by SSCA, April 1975



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